Gitane DeMone’s course had been intense so far, she started with Pompeii 99 in the beginning of the 80’s that led her to Christian Death (’83-’89) where she shaped her acute persona, participating as a vocalist and keyboard player in, to mention only two for example, ‘Catastrophe Ballet’ and ‘Ashes’ LP’s, the most influential releases for the American gothic/deathrock scene. An important musician/songwriter who later on participated in Dreadful Shadows and The Crystelles, and launched her solo carrier artistically featuring the deathrock, dark jazzy cabaret frontwoman we adore.
With her current Gitane Demone Quartet she has offered the ‘Standard Upright’ single (2015) and ‘Past The Sun’ LP (2016), promoting her project, performing live, and getting involved in social issues as an activist that she explains in the interview, along with her past, present and future. Dear people, Gitane DeMone!
How did the band come together?
Rikk Agnew (my fiancee) and I began developing a concept with voice , guitar and loops, by the luck of the universe, we we were brought together with Deb Venom and Paul Roessler. Each member is an integral part of the entity that is Gitane DeMone Quartet.
Plans to tour Europe?
My current booking agency for Europe is Motherdance, Patty Hele. I welcome invitations to play, and to tour. W’ed love to.
How is the set list arranged? any songs from the past?
We are performing songs from ‘Past The Sun‘, selections of the new unreleased work. Sometimes songs from my past work: ‘Perv‘ (‘Demonix‘), ‘Sing The Blues‘ (‘Love For Sale‘), ‘There is A Man‘ (‘The Reflecting Shadow‘).
What are you inspired by through the years, as singer and individual?
I’m inspired by phenomenons in music, art, literature , nature, human beings, paranormal occurrences. The Avant Garde, as well as traditionalists who pierced through commonplace forms to create an individual impact. Natural ambience: sounds that abound around us in neighborhoods, cities, forests, oceans, weather, the universe-outer space. Science, children, dreams, sexuality.
Information about ‘Past The sun‘ in what way does it differ from previous releases? How did cooperation happen with Dark Vinyl Records?
‘Past The Sun‘ is the initial expression of the Quartet, based on the idea of enclosure (VIA the repetition) and opposition through dynamics and improvisation. We can visit many musical environments which surpass the repetition, which is foundational, therefore freeing ourselves while yet ‘boxed in’ within the loop.
In the past, I was much more involved with the structures of songs: intro, verses, choruses, bridges, instrumentals, outros, with chordal changing, and melody following the structures of each part. Dark Vinyl Records are a great label they understand my explorative nature as an artist. I wanted to offer my current form. I’m grateful they accepted.
You have a long route in music, having left your artistic stigma as few can do. How has the trip been so far? What artistic notions can we expect in the future?
Whatever trips of the past lead to now!
Music, Art, Writing, seem to me to be unlimited forms to explore. I’m interested in creating forms of expression- wherever my interests take me. I’m rather a cult artist, not resting on the past, but developing themes with which encircle me. I collaborate with other artists , if its fitting. There will be more releases with Gitane DeMone Quartet in the next year.
Bands you are keen on in this period?
Moira Scar, V.E.X., Karl J. Paloucek, Blood Rythms, Egrets On Ergot, Deadbeats, Annie Gosfield, Sun Ra and his solar myth Arkestra, ‘The Solar Myth Approach Vol. 1 & 2‘, Charles Mingus – ‘The Black Saint‘ and the ‘Sinner Lady‘, Testing Vault with Michael Isaak, Terminal A, and Band Aparte.
What are all your favorite moments, according to all your releases, and to present in music so far?
Ah. you want a book? HA HA – Just kidding . Recording anything is a favorite moment! It’s challenging to work with the best you can produce at that very moment. No matter how limited by your own condition, conditions of band, equipment, engineer, studio, finances —- or overwhelmed by the opposite: an industry situation! (I am not an industry type of artist!) It’s the naked truth of where you are at the moment. Currently, is my favorite period, with the Quartet. We recorded at Paul Roesslers Kitten Robot Studio. We all feel very relaxed, and equally open to experiment, which I love.
And one’s that could have sounded better at the time?
I’m very self-critical, so probably most of my work with few exceptions could’ve sounded better, or had I written better songs, had more time in the studio, written charts for arrangements, etc. That’s where I was at the time. The present is what matters.
What is your opinion in Trump’s vision for U.S.A. And the world, building walls, insulting women, demonizing people, of different color, and beliefs? What is your personal message to your country and the world?
He’s influenced racists, misogynists, into action here, promoting division and elitism, not to mention further disregard to the murderous rape of the planet and atmosphere. I have no belief in the government here, since Trump‘s nomination I have become anarchist. I organized a benefit concert for homeless people in Los Angeles. I just spent two days handing out the donations around the city (that is why this interview is late!) That is the message: compassion for those less fortunate than yourself. Be aware of wast, recycling, tread lightly and help others!
What is an artist’s value and importance in the world?
Artists create positive opposition. Artists present the universe with a reflection different and above the destruction of the planet.
Photo credits: Deb Frazin (1st one)